1 February 2022-30 November 2023 

HERstory for peace: Women’s Workshops in Cyprus and Ireland is a series of women’s meetings and experiential workshops where women’s history and gender equality meet peace education and peace building! 

The project is implemented by the Center for Gender Equality and History (Cyprus) in collaboration with the HERstory Educational Trust (Ireland) and is funded by the European Program Erasmus+ and co-funded by the UNFICYP (United Nations Force in Cyprus). 

The project started in 1 February 2022 and is expected to complete its circle of activities in 30 November 2023.

The aim of the project is to use the lens of women’s history to tackle the continuous marginalisation of women from the peace-building efforts and to empower Cypriot and Irish women to be active agents of both peace and gender equality!

Indeed, although the international community has recognized the value of women’s full and equal participation in conflict resolution, peace building, peace keeping, and post-conflict reconstruction, the importance of women’s contribution in building a culture of peace, and the women’s participation in negotiation processes is still overlooked. Between 1992 and 2019, women across the world were on average only 13 per cent of the negotiators, 6 per cent of the mediators and 6 per cent of the signatories in major peace processes (see the UN General Secretary report of 2021 on women, peace and security). At the same time, although women in Cyprus and Ireland have long been working for peace, their contributions and their stories remain unknown especially to the vast majority of the younger generations.

In this context, women’s history, and the social experience of being a woman in Cyprus and Ireland are used as educational tools, or as vehicles, for both peace education and women’s empowerment. By questioning women’s invisibility in history-telling, by investigating the links between gender and ethnic divisions/inequalities/violence, by deconstructing historical myths about genders and about the national/religious “Other”, by exploring common history and shared experiences with the women of the “Other” community (sexism in militarist culture, common history of patriarchy, victimization of women in wars, rape and fear of rape etc.), and by learning about admirable women of the past and present, the participants have the chance to reflect on the way each generation and each community has experienced violence and peace, women’s oppression and liberation etc.